Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Those Moments That Make You Wanna Say "Surreal"...

I was looking at Akumal Mexico from my new Google Earth toy, and I saw the runway out in the middle of the jungle in this image here. (Lower left hand corner. Looks like a "runway in the jungle"-great song lyrics, if you ask me...)

And a funny anecdote popped into my head like a good rerun at midnight when you can't get to sleep.

Just a moment in time that became a memory that makes me smile when I think of that particular moment in time.

About as surreal as a moment can get.

I remember thinking way back while it was transpiring-- "This is really surreal."


I was in the middle of remodeling that house in Akumal. I was using a guy named Enrique- who was an architect and had connections to workers with specific skills- as an ombudsman.

He was taking me to Tuluum where he had a friend who could fix water pumps. He said he wanted to make a stop to "see about something", and he pulled into a narrow road that led up to a kiosk that had two Mexican Army guys sitting in it. They came out to the car, toting automatic rifles with BIG clips. (Big clips make me nervous. It's like seeing a skunk with a huge scent gland. You can't help but get nervous.) They spoke to Enrique in rapid-fire Spanish full of slang, and I didn't understand a word of it. I smiled like I had just pooted, and the two guys eyed me sternly and then asked Enrique if he was SURE I was OK.

Apparently I was. The two guys radioed a third, and we were told to wait until the guy showed up on his bicycle to escort us to where we were going. All this time, Enrique was very hush hush as to what his intentions were. He kept saying "you'll see", as if that would satisfy me. We followed a Mexican Army soldier carrying a lethal weapon in a basket as he rode an old bicycle across some asphalt and parked right next to an airstrip in the jungle. There were four other guys in fatigues with weapons standing "sort of" on guard, and Enrique got out of the car and told me to come with him. I got out of the car and noticed the beginning of a very surreal moment occuring.

He walked out into the middle of the runway and put his hand out, motioning me to stop.

"Listen," he said.

I listened.

I heard a very faint high pitched motor screaming in the skies above the trees. It was an odd sound. Unlike any aircraft I had ever heard before.

It sounded very far away and very close at the same time. Enrique pointed.


I looked and saw what was making the noise. It was an old war plane. What turned out to be a Spitfire. It was flying just over the trees not far from the runway and it made an approach turn as if to land.

Enrique and I were standing squarely in the middle of the runway, and neither of us were inclined to move. We felt we had room. The little Spitfire whined its motor and waggled its wings several times, as it came in and landed in a reasonably smooth fashion and taxied right up to Enrique and stopped within about two feet of him. Enrique reached down and picked the little model up, turning it upside down in his hands and looking at the bottom of it.

"You got it fixed." he said.

"Surreal" is what I thought. "Way surreal".


Maggie said...

I really enjoyed this. You have a fun way of building tension and then ending with a twist that I could have never guessed. I was waiting for that plane to land and some drug lord to walk out. But then, he'd have to be a really tiny midget wouldn't he?

Nikky said...

I was thinking the same thing, Scott's friend Enrique was looking to score some good stuff... nice twist, good story Scott!

Dogbait said...

Talking about Spitfires, have you seen this one?

Roger said...

great blog scott !!! nice work keep up the good job!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I was waiting for someone to get whacked too!!

Nancy Dancehall said...

LOL! Very nice!